Is Leadership About Following Your Heart?

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam summarized the essence of Leadership Training when he gave a regaling talk to an enthralled audience at a “Times Avenues” event on career options. [Kalam Tell Students To Follow Their Heart, Times of India – June 23rd, 2009]

Speaking in his typical anecdotal manner, Kalam doled out advice on issues ranging from current prospects for aeronautical engineering to the need for reform in appointment of primary school teachers.

The key point he made to the students was to follow their heart. It had the audience both amused and inspired.

I completely agree with Kalam’s viewpoint. Following one’s heart is the most vital ingredient of success to all that we do. It is possible to achieve both success and happiness by pursuing the kind of life, career or hobby that we are deeply interested in. Recounting episodes from his childhood, Kalam stressed that he was able to succeed in what he did because of his passion for what he did, that automatically tied to the will to succeed.

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.
~ Shigenori Kameoka
(Director of the Japanese Shinto Moral Training Society)
You need to find your seed of success and nurture it to growth. There maybe instances when weeds threaten to hamper the growth of your dream, but you should remain steadfast and strong, not stopping until the goal is achieved.

So always remember to do something that is close to your heart. In doing so, there is no coercion, and all your energy is effortlessly harnessed towards achieving what you set out to achieve. This will lead to happiness and fulfillment in life.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
~ Confucius

This is the underlying theme of all the soft skills training programs that are run by MMM Training Solutions. None of this training will be useful or impactful unless each one of the participants nurture a strong desire to change.

Here are a list of blogs that we have published on various topics:

  1. Is Your Feedback Constructive?
  2. 3 Tips To Improve Creative Thinking
  3. Essentials of any Leadership Training Program

The Pursuit of HappYness

Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director – Tata Sons gave a talk at the Indian Institute of Management, a premier MBA institute of India one day. In his discourse, he addressed the youth of today’s world. One of the points he touched upon was about enjoying one’s work. I would be covering many more of his points in my subsequent blogs.

“There is no greater fun than hard work.”
~ Sir James Lipton

In the dynamic corporate world of the 21st century where work dissatisfaction and attrition is the norm, it is evident that one has to make sincere efforts to “enjoy” one’s work. Gopalakrishnan pointed out that all individuals should not only work towards achieving happiness, but should strive to work as happy people.

These two concepts are very different.

When we work with happiness, it gets reflected in everything that we do. It is all about the attitude. Happiness should be a means to an end. We should be happy in whatever we do.
Hence work and career should help an individual in reaching full one’s full potential. Indeed, the satisfaction that is derived from this is overwhelming.

Through the myriad instances of life, it is vital to maintain a sense of humour. We laugh a lot as children, and then somewhere along the way, we forget what it means to laugh open-heartedly.

Many people get uptight and impersonal when they start ascending the ladder of success. They feel that sharing a good laugh with old friends and subordinates would make them look less powerful than what they perceive themselves to be. This is beautifully summarized in a quote by General Joe Stilwell (1904-1946, United States Army four-star General best-known for his service in China and Burma) below:

“Keep smiling. The higher the monkey climbs, the more you can see of his backside.”

So laugh a lot and be happy. Love your work – this approach gives a fresh new outlook to life. The satisfaction and fulfillment you will derive from this will surpass all boundaries within which you have been restricting yourself.

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.”
~Edith Wharton

‘The Night is Darkest Before Dawn’

The Obamas’ struggle to achieve victory

A new book called Renegade recounts US President Barrack Obama’s unlikely run for the presidency. An article relating to this book in the Times of India newspaper (dated June 8, 2009) recounts a particularly tense period in the personal lives of the Obamas during the year 2000.

The Obamas’ marriage was supposedly on the brink of collapse because of Barrack’s political aspirations and First Lady Michelle’s experience as a first time mother.

This particular episode is long past. They are now known today, as the most romantic First Couple of America. Which now brings me to my question – is it necessary to dig up the past and exhibit information that has no relevance to the present? Is journalism about reporting relevant facts or has it become about providing shock value to the reader?

In my opinion, I think we should focus on the fact that amidst all the pressures in their life; they were able to rebuild their marriage. In life we all fall down, but the ones who succeed are the ones who pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep moving without looking back. This shows that Obama is tenacious and is capable of leading a broken down country – it shows that he is a man who achieves his missions. This is what the learnings need to be for the reader.

Let’s not get tangled by the volume of information that hits us day after day. Let us approach daily news not from the perspective of the journalist, who wants as many newspapers to sell, but as a reader who wants to learn from the lives of people; who have reached unimaginable levels in their lives through sheer persistence, focus and vision. This will help us to reach not only those levels but beyond those levels.

Values To Achievement Is Like Oil To The Lamp

“It was only with these values that my success has been realized.”

These were the words that Oscar winning music director (for the movie Slumdog Millionaire), A. R. Rahman said when he was conferred with Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) honorary doctorate on Sunday, for his contribution to the field of art and music.

Rahman urged Indian youth to work toward building a “strong, harmonious India”. This is possible only when individuals work towards their goal with integrity and discipline. Who better than Rahman to give this advice – he lived his early years in abject poverty and see what he has achieved in his life today. He attributes this to his values of living a disciplined life, persistence in everything and respect for mankind.

What is stopping us from achieving the same success as Rahman has?

All of us can achieve what Rahman has achieved and more in our lives and careers. The foundation of our lives should be values of hard work, commitment and fearlessness to reach new horizons everyday. With diligence, it is possible to run the race of life with the torch still burning bright.

Let us aim at becoming stalwarts in our area of passion by strengthening our soft skills and technical expertise – let us be an example for future generations to emulate.

MMM Training Solutions congratulates A. R. Rahman for his achievements and his contributions to humanity by being the drop of oil that helps the lamp of humanity remain burning bright.